Raipur, Apr 10 UNI | 3 months ago

Insurgency-affected and tribal-dominated Bastar parliamentary constituency in southern Chhattisgarh witnessed 52 per cent voting today amid sporadic Naxal violence that left at least three security personnel injured.

Barring Sukma and Bijapur, tribal folk in all parts of the sprawling constituency -- spread over six restive districts -- virtually defied the Maoist threat and exercised their franchise. This was the first phase of polling in the state.

''Bastar District recorded the highest voting of 67 per cent, followed by Kondagaon 55 per cent, Narayanpur 45 per cent and Dantewada 42 per cent. The southernmost districts of Sukma and Bijapur registered the lowest 25 per cent turnout each. In 2009, Bastar witnessed 47.33 per cent polling,'' Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kumar Kujur said.

Rebels opened fire at seven places and detonated a few improvised explosive devices in different parts of the constituency, hurting a security personnel.

Police said that two personnel were injured when ultras ambushed security personnel in Pardem while they were escorting a polling party back to its destination within Sukma district after voting concluded at 1500 hrs.

Polling could not be conducted in Polampalli village under Konta Assembly segment due to a technical snag in the electronic voting machines (EVM).

Re-polling would be held after obtaining the Election Commission of India's nod.

A total of 26 EVMs were replaced due to malfunctioning before and after the voting process commenced at 0700 hrs.

(Posted on 11-04-2014)